Monday, April 8, 2013
Teen Suicide - Goblin Problems on Bird Tapes Records
Regardless of what it’s called, the scratchy, hissy sound of multiple layers of recording jammed onto 4 or 8 tracks of a cassette tape will always be synonymous with the seven inch single. The lack of production can signal that these are demo or experimental tracks not meant for a full length or that the band is more interested in capturing inspired rehearsal space moments then mic placement. From the looks of things on their Facebook page, the band formerly known as Teen Suicide has moved on, but not before Bird Tapes Records based out of NY/ Philadelphia put together this EP “Goblin Problems” from the rarities and unreleased stuff from the Maryland four piece.
The fuzzy garage style on A-Side’s “Goblins Cry Too" is what you’d expect with this sharpie drawn black and white sleeve and blank center label. It’s a goofy concoction, not taking itself too seriously, laying on the woooo harmony caffeinated beach sound with Simpsons trading cards (included). They’ve cleaned out the garage – well, just moved things around and cranked up the fuzz into heated, hazy tunes. Throw open the curtains, that layered crunch is that sunshine piercing through the cobwebs and the furniture covers are that distanced drum track. This is created with the speed and volume of punk with the pop insanity of The Unicorns. The throbbing static is heavy on quirky experimentation and Sam Ray’s lyrics celebrating the mundane. Like the next track "Haydens Getting A DDR Pad" a three chord punk shuffle with blasting cymbals is exactly about someone telling their mom that their friend Hayden is getting a Dance Dance Revolution pad, and they’re going to sweat and move their body and get tired. The bash rhythm is at the center of this, a lot of speed, blown out sonics and it’s a miracle they get this hilarious/sad premise across in around a minute. What’s sad is that this really would be the highlight of your day and worth building this song monument to, but that’s the charm. These are the tiny victories before serious life begins.
The B-Side switches to overdriven acoustic and hissed out tambourine on "I Wanna Be A Witch" a really nice lazy psych Sunday song about getting high among other things. Wavves doesn't hold the copyright on smoking up or pushing the distortion over into the red. They’ve got the same kind of laid-back sincerity that’s endearing with tracks that couldn't be further from the seriousness of the rest of rock. It’s flirting with that Columbus no-fi sound where it’s got to be about the catchy riff because it’s the only thing that should be able to punch through the noise. The sound almost turns ploddingly morbid… an attempt to warm you about that suicide? Not because of depression mind you but because it's fashionable. Like Spring Breakers I can’t decide if it’s in on it’s own joke? It’s deadly serious about messing around.
"Saliva Plath" is a beautiful broken loop of vocalizations and a thumping inhuman beat for disjointed elements to get jammed together. Sam’s singing: “I’ll buy the biggest TV my credit card will allow / we'll watch the food network the rest of lives” in a low barely whispered distortion. The American dream (revised). On one hand there’s a lot of talk about the entitled generation but a lot of the ladder climbing shit has maybe been stripped away to leave Generation Z with more modest goals. All you can hope for is a perfect moment like this. Does that have anything to do with being a slacker? No, it’s that this is good enough. I wish I could get more of this particular experimental no-fi charm and wit. It's funny and sad, like Caisotone, reaching farther into the darker and lighter places than most anything.
Pick this single up from Bird Tapes Bandcamp.
In serious news, Sam, former Teen Suicide member, released this album from his new project, Julia Brown, to help with surgery bills for their lead singer Caroline. Check that out here.